Thursday, December 1, 2022

Remember the IT

While I love having my toes in the sand, I absolutely do not care to be covered in sand. Not by choice, once I found myself entirely too close to a wet-and-sandy dog which resulted in what wet-and-sandy dogs do!. It did not go well for me. As I'm sure you are well aware, there are times in life when we find ourselves paralyzed, unable to move forward, wondering how we will press on. Paul wrote, "Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own." (Philippians 3:12). The "it" Paul is referring to is the Power that comes from knowing Christ intimately. I've heard it said ... Believers should profess what they possess ... affirm openly what you claim - practice what you preach. I remember [and now treasure] words my Dad would say to me on the ball field after I'd walked a couple of batters and couldn't seem to "find the plate" again; he'd call time-out, walk to the pitcher's mound, look me in the eyes and firmly say, "Bev, shake it off and pitch to the glove." Oh, how we need to shake-off the things that weigh us down and hinder us from living each day victoriously. The way forward may truly be tough but remember the IT that every Believer possesses - the Spirit and Power of Jesus Christ ... "for nothing will be impossible with God" (Luke 1:37). Let us profess what we possess ... remember the IT.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Straighten Up

We love our little farmhouse! Even with its oddities and occasional malfunctions, it has character and personality. Have you noticed periods when life seems "off" - a bit tilted? You get up to begin your day but you need help getting your feet underneath you because the ground just ... doesn't ... feel ... quite ... right. Former captives in Babylon, imagine the Israelites' excitement as Zerubbabel (their governor) led the builders to rebuild the temple of The LORD! It was a joyous sign when they saw "the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel" (Zecharial 4:10). A plumbline - you know, a builder's tool that identifies vertical. Believers have a spiritual plumbline - The Bible, God's Holy Word. Before His death, it was God's Word Jesus prayed would make holy (sanctify) His followers: "Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth." (John 17:17). How foolish we are to grab-at and hold-onto cute and trendy words and phrases rather than search-out and embrace Godly Truth. As right and soothing as worldly wisdom may sound, it does little to right the ground underneath us. The Word of Truth is securely and eternally held in the hand of The One Who IS Truth. When the world seems a little tilted and you're struggling to find center, turn to the plumbline of God's Truth with joy ... straighten up.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

True Connection

Vanilla or chocolate - summer or winter - mountains or beach - coffee or hot chocolate ... personal preferences, isn't it great to have such wonderful choices! Truly, one of the great things about America are the personal freedoms we have to believe, speak and peacefully live as we choose. Believers must never assume, however, they are free to choose apart from Godly Truth and expect to live in spiritual peace. A right and personal relationship with God is the result of choosing Jesus Who said, "I am The Way, and The Truth, and The Life. No one comes to The Father except through Me" (John 14:6). Choosing chocolate over vanilla or the mountains over the beach may not ultimately be divisive but any chosen path other than Jesus ... well, it won't lead to right-standing with The Father: "for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith" (Galatians 3:26). You may have guessed I choose the beach but more importantly I pray God strengthens me to always choose The One Who secures me to The Father - that is, Jesus ... The True Connection.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Beauty Mark

Our sweet Grand #4 recently showed me a small discoloration of her skin, and proudly announced it as her "beauty mark." We already knew she was beautifully marked in many ways! I suggest many Believers fail to acknowledge what marks us, and that is The Beauty of Jesus Christ. Although it may show itself in physically, the beauty Jesus produces is far deeper. "Do not let your adorning be external - the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear - but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." (1 Peter 3:3-4). The point here is instead of devoting so much time-money-energy into our outward appearance (what is perishable), pay attention to the inner person (what is imperishable). Oh, how tragic when Believers refuse to see in ourselves the wondrous beauty of God's design: "I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well." (Psalm 139:14). My Mama used to say "beauty is only skin deep," which is absolutely true when the inner person has been neglected. My greatest desire is to resemble Christ - may He truly be my ... Beauty Mark.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Continually Filled

Sweet tea is a traditional southern beverage, and it is commonly offered to guests. If you really want to pour-on the hospitality, you never let the glass get empty! God commands that Believers be filled with The Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). The Greek actually translates "be constantly being filled," much like that never-empty glass of sweet tea. Continually being filled shouldn't be a foreign concept - we are continually filled with many things: bitterness about current circumstances, anger toward those who have wronged us, lies told to us by the world, etc. What fills us rules us! How fitting and proper God commands His Saints be filled instead with what is good and holy - His Spirit to rule within us and guide us in every area of our lives. The next time you fill your glass with water or milk or ... sweet tea, consider how little or how much you are leading a Spirit-filled life to the glory of God. Open yourself continually and He will keep you filled!